The Dawes Report—An Economic Analysis

April 11, 1924
Entire Report

The Dawes report, while it has had a favorable reception by officials of the American government, is viewed, in its practical details with some skepticism by economists familiar with the reparations problem. The official point of view has been reflected in newspaper dispatches from Washington since the filing of the report. The opinion of economists is reflected in the following analysis prepared for Editorial Research Reports by Guy Greer; Mr. Greer served as an economic expert at the Peace Conference and was for four years a member of the Interallied staff of the Reparations Commission.

Summary of Report

The report of the Dawes Committee has been summarised at length in the press. Consequently no detailed statement of its provisions will here be necessary. In general the plan proposed in the report provides for the stabilization of German currency simultaneously with the balancing of the German budget. This is to be accomplished through a gold Bank of Issue and reform of taxation. Included in the anticipated expenditures of the German government are increasingly large items for treaty fulfillment (reparation payments). The scheme for reparation payments is concerned almost exclusively with the raising of funds in Germany. These funds are to be secured: (1) by the sale of stock (presumably in Germany) in the reorganized railway system and from railway revenues; (2) from the interest on first mortgage bonds on German industry; and (3) from budgetary surpluses secured through taxation. The funds thus made available are to be deposited in the Bank of Issue to the credit of the Reparation Commission.

Exchange Operations Devolve on Allies

Only incidentally, is the problem of transferring these funds to the Allies considered. A statement, buried in the detail of the report, acknowledges that there is a problem involved, and a committee is to be vested with power of supervision over the transfers. It is significant that the responsibility for such exchange operations is to devolve entirely upon the Allies. Elsewhere in the report, however, it Is specifically stated that Germany shall pay on the reparation account 1,000,000,000 gold marks the first year, 1,220,000,000 the second year, and so on, with the possibility of certain slight reductions. Recognizing the difficulty of transfer the experts recommend that for the first two years these sums shall be nearly all expended in Germany.

Power of the Transfer Committee

The general impression conveyed to economists by the report i

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dawes Plan
Jul. 31, 1928  The German Government and the Dawes Plan
Oct. 08, 1926  The Dawes Plan and the Thoiry Project
Aug. 25, 1925  Germany and the Dawes Plan
Feb. 28, 1925  Ten Months Under the Dawes Plan
Aug. 22, 1924  The Dawes Report and The London Conference
Apr. 11, 1924  The Dawes Report—An Economic Analysis
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
International Economic Development
International Law and Agreements